Highlights From Q2's 13-F Season

August 15, 2017 3:35 pm
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The latest round of 13-F filings from institutional investors is out, revealing to the world the stocks that some of the richest and most successful investors have been buying and selling. Here’s a rundown of how the smart money was playing some of the most popular stocks last quarter.

Consensus Views

A pair of popular stocks were in-demand for multiple major funds last quarter. Dan Loeb’s Third Point and David Tepper’s Appaloosa both loaded up on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) in the quarter. Both Tepper and Greenlight Capital’s David Einhorn were also buyers ofMicron Technology, Inc (NASDAQ:MU).

Related Link: Warren Buffett Tells Value Investors To Resist The Temptation To Speculate

At the same time, fund managers were decidedly bearish on airline stocks. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B) sold shares of American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ:AAL) and United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL). Tepper was selling Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV). George Soros’s Soros Fund Management liquidated his stake in American Airlines.

Mixed Reviews

Fund managers were mixed on other top stocks. While Loeb and Tepper were dumping Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP), Barry Rosenstein’s Jana Partners was buying. Loeb was also buying Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) in the second quarter, while Soros was selling. Rosenstein was snatching up Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) shares, while Leon Cooperman’s Omega Advisors was selling.

In the financial sector, Buffett was buying shares of Bank of New York Mellon Corp (NYSE:BK) and Synchrony Financial (NYSE:SYF). Tepper also added shares of Ally Financial Inc (NYSE:ALLY). On the other hand, Loeb sold JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), and Soros sold shares of Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C).

Other Key Stocks

In addition to the names mentioned above, some institutional investors made moves with a number of other popular stocks in the second quarter:

  • Rosenstein bought shares of Blue Apron Holdings Onc (NYSE:APRN) and sold salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE CRM).
  • Cooperman scooped up shares of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), while unloading the stocks of Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW).
  • Tepper was buying Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), while dialing back exposure to General Motors Company (NYSE:GM).
  • Soros also unloaded shares of Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP).
  • Buffett dumped International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) and General Electric Company (NYSE:GE).

Markets Aren’t Influenced

While it’s always a good sign for retail investors to see billionaire fund managers buying and selling the same stocks they are, the most recent 13-F filing season hasn’t done much to move the market. Surprisingly enough, nothing appears to be having a string influence on the market these days, with the S&P 500 continuing to march steadily higher to new all-time highs despite chaos in Washington over healthcare and tax reform and increasingly tense international tensions with North Korea and Russia.

On Tuesday's Benzinga PreMarket Prep, Jill Malandrino, host of Trade Talks on Nasdaq said nothing seems to be moving the markets these days.

“I think what’s interesting is, particularly over this quarter, is that nothing is moving the needle.”

“I don’t think that the headlines are having the impact that they have in the past,” she added, noting that even earnings numbers don’t seem to be having the type of impact they have in the past.

While buy-and-hold investors may not be missing the headline-driven volatility, traders are struggling to find opportunities in the current market.

“It seems as if, whether you look at it from a technical or fundamental perspective, there is nothing out there that is going to create significant trading opportunities,” Malandrino said. It’s more of a slow and steady grind upwards or downwards depending on what you’re looking at.”

You can listen to the full discussion starting at the two minute mark in the track below.

PreMarket Prep is a daily trading show that airs every morning from 8–9 a.m. ET here and on our YouTube Channel. You can also listen to the podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher.

Disclosure: The author is long BABA.

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